Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Likes Obamacare?

I don't, and I'm not the only one:
Question: What do the following have in common? Eckert Cold Storage Co., Kerly Homes of Yuma, Classic Party Rentals, West Coast Turf Inc., Ellenbecker Investment Group Inc., Only in San Francisco, Hotel Nikko, International Pacific Halibut Commission, City of Puyallup, Local 485 Health and Welfare Fund, Chicago Plastering Institute Health & Welfare Fund, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Teamsters Local 522 Fund Welfare Fund Roofers Division, StayWell Saipan Basic Plan, CIGNA, Caribbean Workers' Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Health and Welfare Plan.

Answer: They are all among the 1,372 businesses, state and local governments, labor unions and insurers, covering 3,095,593 individuals or families, that have been granted a waiver from Obamacare by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

All of which raises another question: If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?

More specifically, why are more than half of those 3,095,593 in plans run by labor unions, which were among Obamacare's biggest political supporters? Union members are only 12 percent of all employees but have gotten 50.3 percent of Obamacare waivers.

The gist of the article is that the president illegally rewards his supporters and punishes his opponents.
Punishing enemies and rewarding friends -- politics Chicago style -- seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS' gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors.

They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government.


mazenko said...

So, it's not that you don't like the Affordable Health Care Act - it's that you don't like corrupt Washington practices that exempt special interests.

Darren said...

You're very binary lately. Why can't I be against both? Or even, why can't one lead to the other?

mazenko said...

Just pointing out that this particular post had no specific criticism of the Act, yet claimed to be against the Act.

mazenko said...

You can be against the Act - though I find it hard to oppose laws against canceling policies when a customer actually gets sick and files claims. That seems like a no-brainer. And I like restrictions on discriminating for pre-existing conditions and setting lifetime maximums, as well as accountability on insurers actually using premiums to provide health care, as opposed to dividends to stockholders or paying off loses in the market. Seems like an industry that needed these reforms - and all the above ideas are supported by 80% of Americans. I assume the other 20% already get these protections on Medicare - though many don't want the rest of us to have the same protection in our elder years. That must just be part of the elderly Republican disease :-)

Ellen K said...

I am against the act itself because it takes choice out of the hands of patients and puts it into the hands of a layer of bureacracy that neither produces or conducts activities. This can only lead to price inflation. Every layer of HMO or PPO care added more cost. The same will happen with Obamacare.

mazenko said...

Excuse my incredulity, Ellen, but that is completely ridiculous based on bromides rather than facts of the law. The current bureaucracy of HMOs and PPOs already exploit the doctor/patient relationship. A law that says insurance companies can not cancel coverage after you get sick if you're paying premiums is doing nothing to take choice out of patients hands. And attempts to set up exchanges in which all companies and consumers can compete in a common marketplace, increases not decreases cost. It works for the FEHB, and the ACA seeks to extend that to all Americans.

Granted, the HAA would have done this more effectively. But I'll take the ACA over no action from the other side of the aisle other than the argument that "buying across state lines" will create the competition to lower costs.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Ellen, you have to excuse Mazenko. The cow-like masses, who should be deliriously happy that once again our intellectual and moral superiors have contrived to give us something of inestimable value for nothing, are evincing a decidedly unhappy mien.

A bovine incredulity has caused no small amount of distress to our betters who are simply unable to understand why the unlikely promises of those who never make good on their promises aren't being believed in this case. After all, we're too stupid to make our own decisions so what call do we have to be clever enough to see through promises that have never been kept?

Don't you think you ought to be pleased that your medical coverage can't be cancelled even if you can't see a doctor? That's better then having your coverage cancelled, right? And shouldn't you be pleased that you can count on second-class medical care so that those who are politically influential can have first-class care, paid for with your tax dollars? You ought to know that the decision of whether you ought to be left moaning in pain for months, or stupefied with pain-killers, should be left up to people who have no interest in you and are immune to the consequences of their decisions.

I mean, that's just common sense, right?

mazenko said...

Allen, if your comments actually had any grounding in the facts of the law, it would have been worth reading. Instead, we get obtuse criticism based on ideology and sound bites completely irrelevant to the ACA.

You would have been better off writing "Keep your government hands off my Medicare." Then, I could have quickly skipped your commentary.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Obtuse? Hardly.

Progressives are alternately angry that the public isn't properly excited at another step toward FREE! medical care and dismissive of any concerns associated with a further socialisation of medical care. You're not going to disagree with that characterisation, are you?

Well, maybe you are but that doesn't change the fact that the characterisation's accurate even if it isn't quite as self-idolizing as you might prefer.

As for the actual criticisms of Obamacare in my previous post they're simply a recounting of a few of the characteristics necessarily common to all socialised medicine systems. Not that those criticisms will have any impact on you since the pragmatic case for socialised medicine is hardly politically defensible and the visceral case is immune to argument.

mazenko said...

"simply a recounting of characteristics common to all socialized medicine systems ..." That's ridiculous, and really quite sad, Allen. You're simply admitting you have zero credible knowledge of this issue. It's a shame so many people like you actually fail to think, and willingly admit it.

Ellen K said...

And why do we have PPO's now? Because HMO's proved far too costly for most insurance carriers. The fact remains true whether it is insurance or selling apples, every layer of buracracy between producer and consumer adds another layer of cost. What Obamacare has done is to create many additional layers that will extort money for services that do not go to improvement of services but to serve a bureaucrat maze of government workers who incidentally get more than the private sector employees that do the same jobs because government employees are union employees. This is nothing more than a union jobs program. Unions are Obama's bread and butter. From refusing to pass the immigration plan as a senator to his blind support for card check to his waivers for unions from his own play, unions are what Obama answers to for his campaign funding and for a political action arm that is independent from the DNC and therefore outside the rule of campaign law.

PeggyU said...

Throwing more insurance at the problem won't fix it. It will just drive the cost of care up further.